Fun with scanning microscopes

<p>"New" class being offered this fall, but I thought it was also offered last fall.</p>

<p>For those interested in nanotechnology, this is an area UVA has started to invest in.</p>

<p>The course description is noted below -- you won't find this in the COD. This came out of an email the E-school received today.</p>

<p>Although this is technically an engineering class, the class is open to anyone, even Luddites, and allegedly any student at UVA has an equal chance of taking the class (slots are limited). It is taught by John Bean, one of UVA's more highly rated professors, and the class is designed to meet students' science requirements.</p>

<p>You can see a picture of one of the microscopes at </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>ENGR-250: A Hands On Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology.</p>

<p>The class’s homepage is:</p>

<p>UVA</a> Virtual Lab: Nanoscience Class Homepage</p>

<p>In the classroom we’ll discuss topics including: How “the rules change” at
the nanoscale opening the door to strange new structures and devices, but
rendering the microfabrication techniques of integrated circuits obsolete;
How this creates the need for “self-assembly” where, rather than
fabricating things directly, we instead design the parts so that they know
how we want them to come together (e.g. DNA programmed assembly of
proteins); The often very muddy distinction between nano fact and nano
science fiction; Best case nanotechnology scenarios (e.g. carbon
nanofiber-based “Space Elevators”) vs. worst case scenarios (e.g. the
rampaging nanobots of Michael Crichton’s book “Prey”).</p>

<p>In the lab (ENGR-251) we'll use the six Scanning Tunneling and Atomic Force
Microscopes bought under a National Science Foundation grant specifically
for your use in this class. With these tools you will do everything from
imaging the parts of disassembled integrated circuits, to mapping out
individual single atoms on the surface of graphite (I've attached such an
atomic image produced by students from last Fall's class).</p>

<p>Or, if you like, you can instead combine the lecture/discussion (ENGR-250),
with a personal individual literature research project on nanoscience and
technology (ENGR-252) attempting to answer questions such as “Can the
nanoparticles already being added to sun blocks go right through the skin
and if so, what will they do inside our bodies (and might it be anything
like what asbestos particles can do to our lungs)?”</p>